Automation Alley Sets Reception For New Kettering President: Automation Alley members are invited to meet Kettering University’s new president, Robert K. McMahan Jr., at a reception Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Automation Alley, 2675 Bellingham Drive, Troy. McMahan became the seventh president of Kettering in August. He is also a professor of physics at the school. To allow an accurate count for food and beverages, those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to Diane Emery by Nov. 3 at, or at (810) 762-9863. Prior to Kettering, McMahan was the founding dean of the Kimmel School and professor of engineering at Western Carolina University; the Senior Advisor to the Governor of North Carolina for Science and Technology, and the Executive Director of the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology. Earlier he was a senior technology strategist and venture capitalist for In-Q-Tel, a private venture capital organization funded by the CIA.  He also served as executive vice president of engineering and R&D for GretagMacbeth LLC. He joined GretagMacbeth after its acquisition in 2000 of McMahan Research Laboratories, the advanced technologies company which he founded in Cambridge, Mass. McMahan has been involved in the creation of a number of technology startups, and he has co-led equity and LBO capital raises in excess of $50 million. McMahan also held the position of research professor of physics and astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1989-2010. He received bachelors’ degrees in physics and in the history of art from Duke University in 1982, a Ph.D. degree in physics from Dartmouth in 1986, and completed postdoctoral studies at the Harvard University / Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Center for Astrophysics.

IT Council To Meet On Education Tech: The Capital Area IT Council will host its next membership meeting on Friday, Nov. 4 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Kellogg Center on the campus of Michigan State University. The meeting will be in the Red Cedar room on the main level. The November meeting will feature a presentation by David Gift, vice provost for libraries, computing and technologies for Michigan State University, “The Business of Education: An Insider’s Look at Supporting the IT Needs of One of the Nation’s Largest Research Universities.” Gift is the key figure managing the complex technology needs of an organization with almost $2 billion a year in total spend. That includes an IT infrastructure spanning 561 buildings across a 5,200 acre campus and supporting 17 different colleges, 47,000 students, as well as approximately 4,900 faculty and 6,200 other support staff. Join us for this unique one-on-one conversation with MSU’s CIO as he describes the technology, staff, and partners that are needed to keep the region’s largest “end user” organization up and running. There will be a complimentary continental breakfast from 7:30 to 8 a.m. which will be immediately followed by David’s presentation. RSVP by contacting Chris Knapp at (517) 492-5592 or Guests are welcome only as an invited guest of an active member, and there is a $25 guest registration fee. If you have an interest in joining the Capital Area IT Council and would like to attend a member meeting, please contact Chris Knapp at 517-492-5592 or for further information.

Capital Area IT Council To Cover Emerging Technologies: The Capital Area IT Council will meet Thursday, Jan. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lansing Community College Michigan Technical Education Center on the topic “Emerging Technologies.” Join us as we explore several emerging technologies that our panel of subject area experts suggest every organization should be thinking about and preparing for. Some of the topics which will be covered include the upcoming release of Windows 8, which will bring a host of new features and capabilities including touch, HTML5, Internet Explorer 10, and much more; desktop video conferencing, which is rapidly falling in price and complexity; the introduction of IPv6 to replace IPv4, which means a greater number of Internet addresses and connected devices; and digital presence, the ability for someone to send a message (chat, IM, email, Text, voice mail, etc.) to someone else and the message will find them on whatever device they are logged into.

Capital Area IT Council To Cover Social Media: The Capital Area IT Council will meet Thursday, March 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lansing Community College Michigan Technical Education Center on the topic of social media in business. So how much business is OK on social media, and which tools should you focus on? There are now many popular social media tools, including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, BranchOut and many, many others. Some of these tools are more “social” while others are more “business” focused. Which tools are the best at helping you get your message across and where should you invest your time and resources? Facebook recently partnered with BranchOut to better compete with Google+ and LinkedIn, but is it worth your time to build yet another network? Find out where our panel of experts recommends you invest your time and how to effectively use social tools to promote your business or organization.